Just enough Jesus…

The past few months has offered up the opportunity to speak to many people about faith. Not just the people with faith in Yehovah the Creator God of Israel, moreover, there were those in the various faiths labeled as pagan or cults too. By sheer randomness, the majority fell in the evangelical or Catholic category. There also were Sikh, Hindu, Buddhist and a wide variety of “others”.

I ask them about repentance, love, mercy and grace as it pertained to their “higher power”. About cultural verses religious behaviors they teach and how they studied their faith and it practices. To include the way their ‘church’ relates to the fallen and to the one who is there just to investigate.

With the change in society under the plan-demic…. a topic already discussed on this blog… people no longer had the co-worker setting next to them to chat with. People were eager to talk because they were tired of video everything. Any good conspiracy theorist would claim they did that to get inside the heads of the general public, and, that they have it all saved to the ‘cloud’. Anyway….

In reverse order, the Hindu/Buddist/whatever religions all had various creeds surrounding loving people, animals, nature and even dead relatives. Likewise they all had practices required to show their faith to their respective deity. Whenever there arose a conflict between people an elder is sought to decide the matter. The decision is solely his and may or may not be based on a written code similar to the Judeo-Christian Scriptures.

It would appear to me, based on these conversations, this manner of conflict resolution could be very judgmental, biased or downright maniacal if left in the hands of a human. This is the point the Catholic defers to the Pope and the protestant defers (at least we hope) to Yehovah God.

For the victims in the ‘other’ religions there is justice and for the offender a myriad of prayers, penitent services, banishments, retributions and physical maladies to include fasting, bathing and punishments. It looks and feels nothing like the definition of words like mercy and grace.

Mercy, the definition is – compassion or forbearance shown especially to an offender or to one subject to another’s power. Grace on the other hand is a bit more complicated. For me, growing up in the evangelical world, grace was some sort of ‘ranch dressing’ for our lifestyle…. it covered it all and made us happy.

Grace, several definitions that really need to be intricately woven together to really grasp the concept….
n. Seemingly effortless beauty or charm of movement, form, or proportion.
n. A characteristic or quality pleasing for its charm or refinement.
n. A sense of fitness or propriety.

When I think about my own life…[I feel like I need to wash my brain with Dawn and a brillo pad]… I can see where Yehovah has, in his seemingly effortless movement, shown me compassion and forbearance. Additionally, He has given me a sense of propriety based on His characteristics for my refinement because I am the subject of His authority.

Think about that…. I will say it again….

Yehovah has, in his seemingly effortless movement, shown me compassion and forbearance. Additionally, He has given me a sense of propriety based on His characteristics for my refinement because I am the subject of His authority.

This is why the sea parted, this is why the jail doors flew open, this is why the flood came and this is most definitely why the stone killed the giant. They are all subject to Gods authority. I had to ask myself as a believer of Yehovah, Creator of the Universe, Elohim of the House of Israel…. am I a willing subject of HIS authority?

It is with this in mind that I bring the same questions before the evangelical crowd. The people interviewed were all members of brick and mortar churches ranging from 500 to 5000 in number. All could express the infallibility of God and mans pitiful existence in the world. Likewise they could express salvation through Jesus Christ but only to the extent of that being the cure-all, ranch dressing rebuttal “but that is all I need to get to heaven”.

On occasion, I would throw in “how does that line up with Revelation 14:12?” Feel free to insert a blank stare here, why, because that is all I got back. For those of you still scratching your head…

“Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.”

After the uncomfortable pause, I would then quote the verse. More people than not would reply with “I don’t know” or “I’ve never heard that verse before”. Then going forward I would explain my same feeling, thoughts and questions as they were currently experiencing, and that for me, my solution to that was to study the matter out.

How much does the modern Evangelical, Catholic, Jew or Pagan really know about their faith? Does study entice legalism? Or does study embrace faith to then produce fruit?

Is there such a thing as “Just enough Jesus”?

John 1:1 tells us “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

John used the word “Word” in duality, this form of writing was intentional; to the Hebrew this meant the same as the Law of Moses “In the beginning YHVH created”.

This is further expounded in Colossians 1:15-17 “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”

This was considered common and completely acceptable for the Hebrew listening/reading. 

The rub would then come from the other major societies of that era, the Greeks and Romans, the thinkers and philosophers. The word “Word” would be taken by them in their understanding as “Logos” = the rational principle of the universe, gaining knowledge of another human through conversation to exceed over appearance only.

Do you see what John did there? John told them the actions of the Holy Spirit and God speaking to us through His written word. The Scriptures convey a message to us directly from the Creator on how the creation is suppose to behave under His authority.

Deuteronomy 11:26-28 “Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you this day: And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known.”

One of the participants in the project said to me, “how am I supposed to know all 613 of them stinking rules anyway? all they do is bring condemnation!” This was immediately followed with: “they are written on my heart” and “God knows my heart!”

This participant was nearly yelling at this point and obviously unsettled by the conflict rising within their own head. I believe had I asked “how do you suppose they get written on your heart? is it osmotic?” that the encounter would have ended in a fist-a-cuff.

Or asking if Proverbs 15:28 meant anything to them?
“The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out useless things.” {song lyrics, sports stats, movie quotes} I have those silly things I can quote because of repetitive exposure. That is the entire point of “renewing your minds”. People interviewed would continually say “I cant memorize scripture like that.” But they can give you and hour long back story on the walking dead. I have to wonder if the familiarity is based irony?

So here we are… Religious ranch dressing with osmotic education and a hard pressed message to “go get ’em” for God. Or is there more? More that we need to discover?

Did John have latte on the the island of Patmos? a latte trouble maybe. Exactly how small was his small group?

Is this what Paul went to prison for….?

What is intended for the Psalm 139:14 human?

“I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”

How well do we know right? Jesus is the King [authority] of Righteousness… how well do we know him? He says himself that it will be an issue in the last days.

Amos 8:11 “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord.”

Likewise in the New Testament Jesus warns in Matthew 7:22-23 “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

So …. how and where do I get to know the Creator becomes the root of the matter, Yes? How do I “know right well”, or how do I avoid the famine? Where can I go to get this vital information?

The first thing that comes to the mind of the modern day proselyte to evangelical Christianity… What church do you go to??

I haven’t come to the full conclusion as to why they ask this question. Possibly they would like to come hear truth and dig deeper? Or, do they believe the church they attend is the ONLY one that has the truth? What about a coffee bar and a hipster preacher? Or small groups? or daycare?

Or, is it they are just a part of the recruiting committee? At this point I am not sure they even know why they do it…. other than Pastor Skinny Jeans keeps telling them that very thing every week. “Go get ’em.”

Then, when I deliver the news, with a twitch in the eye similar to an allergy sufferer holding back a sneeze, I utter ” I dont go to a brick and mortar church”… you can hear the air squeak from the balloon, as they get my response…. pppppffffffwwwwwwwweeeeeeee

Despite my obvious love for God, and my facial reactions, these people cannot fathom the idea of not attending a brick and mortar church. It is years, or in many cases, decades of wrote habit to get up, slick up and go “get your Jesus on” as one lady put it. They can, as it seems, only connect the dots that organized religion at a brick and mortar is where we “get with God.”

This next bit of information…. well the picture says it all…

This literally had me dumbfounded….

One of the participants said, “I study my Bible everyday on my lunch hour at work and pray twice a day. So I don’t go to the church to listen to the preacher, I am there for the people. We are called to gather together [Hebrews 10:25] and that is why I go.” Not the disturbing part. The next sentence, “I just don’t understand why you don’t go to church.”

After explaining in detail the several groups that I meet with weekly and that I too spend time diligently in the word. This was unacceptable in this persons line of thinking. Then I asked, does going to church make me a Christian? Or does a life lived according to the Word of God make me a believer? Which one is it?

A quick BOTH was the answer. So, if church attendance equates to Christianity, then by rational thinking, standing in my garage makes me a car. Now they have the eye twitch as they process what they presume to be mockery. They fail to see the intent behind the congregation and its coming together.

The congregation is to hear the instruction of the Creator….

2 Timothy 3:16 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”

Ephesians 4:11-12 “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the equipping of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:”

And where would they get such things??

Paul, James, Barnabas, Timothy, and many many more state: “For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.” in Acts 15.

1 John 2:7 Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning.

It is my conclusion that the ‘church’, and it makes no difference the religious title, is replete with man-made rules, mysticism and excuses. Everyone want to blame the lack of enthusiasm in the masses on the recent corona chaos, government, or simply the Devil. The millennial hands off mentality has overtaken the church by announcing it is faith alone and somehow there is no responsibility to the commands of God.

There is an eagerness to invoke the 10 commandments and somehow dissect the entirety of the remaining commands. Misusing the texts “written on my heart” and “all the law hangs on these two things” somehow allows them the freedom to dismiss 90% of the Bible!

The Scriptures that Paul carried and taught out of…. the Scriptures he told Timothy to study are the same Scriptures God used words like “forever” and “everlasting” are they now gone?

Says who? Some Pope? Your preacher? ….uhhh …that sounds a little like blasphemy to me…

Looks to me that Jesus was trying to put it out there, the hard truth: Luke 16:31 “And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.”

Are you washed in the Word like 1Cor 6:11, Heb 10:22, Eph 5:26, and Titus 3:5 teaches?

or Do you have Just enough Jesus?

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